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Fighting with breast/how to produce surplus breastmilk

(9 Posts)
nocomplicationspls Fri 31-Jul-09 21:03:22

Please help! My son is 7 weeks I'm struggling with feeding. He'll feed for 5 mins or so at each breast whilst milk is flowing fast (I think it flows really fast as if he slips off for a second it usually sprays in his face!), then goes ballistic, hitting at breast & screaming etc etc, obviously wanting more but unable to get it as quickly as he feels he needs it. So, in desperation, whilst he screams I express, as (& I know this is apparently untrue) the machine seems to extract more efficiently than he does. Then he happily takes the remainder of milk from the bottle, and falls asleep drugged until the next round. He seems able to switch happily between breast and bottle in this way. This isn't really satisfactory is it? - any ideas?

Secondly, I really need to express so my husband/mum can help sometimes, but how do I get surplus breastmilk given that I'm having to do the above? He will basically drink as much as I can produce it seems. Should I just be gratefl I'm managing to breastfeed exclusively, albeit in this odd way, or is there a way to get a stash together and satisy ds?

Any views welcome. Thank you so much

moondog Fri 31-Jul-09 21:12:06

Maybe he is a very fast feeder? Have you tried switching him to other breast after the peceful 5 minutes?.

What you are doing seems rather complicated and stressful [even thoguh it is working]. You seem to be ending up with a lot of hassle when one of the great things about breastfeeding is that it is pretty hassle free.

Have you tried different holds or maybe feeding in a quiet place? Feeding lying down? Are there times when b/feeding seems easier for him?

nocomplicationspls Fri 31-Jul-09 21:38:22

I think he is a fast feeder, but seems more often than not to need more despite that.
What I'm doing is complicated! I am finding it hard to believe that breastfeeding is hassle free.
Breastfeeding is definitely easier for him at night when there's plenty of milk. Then it flows, so he's not having to work so hard?
I am feeding in a quiet place, usually in bed. I can't do it in public because I just don't feel confident - I know it'll be fine for the first five mins, then flailing arms & screaming etc. I am starting to understand why people give in a give formula

ineedalifelaundry Sat 01-Aug-09 01:03:36

Well done for keeping going under such difficult circumstances!

Expressing milk for future use could be done once a day after your DS has had his fill. Once you've given him his bottle of expressed milk and he's gone to sleep, express again. The first few times you might not get much (although even a few mls is good as a few of those and you have a full feed!), but your supply will soon catch up with the demand. You say you seem to have more milk at night time, so maybe this would be the best time to express and store milk.

I don't really have any advice on the fighting / screaming issue, I'm sorry. What happens if you don't express and just persevere with offering the breast?

shonaspurtle Sat 01-Aug-09 01:21:34

This is ringing bells with me. Ds used to scream at the breast when he was that age and I remember one occasion when my grandma said "that child is obviously not getting anything out of there" hmm. It did seem like he wanted more and wasn't being satisfied.

Thing is, it was the completely opposite problem. I had a really fast letdown (like you, it would "spray" if he came off) and that's what bothered him. Drinking from a bottle was actually slower than drinking from me!

I also had an oversupply which caused me a lot of problems with engorgement, blocked ducts and mastitis so I would urge you to be careful with the breast pump. If you do start making "extra" you'll have to keep removing it or risk being very uncomfortable.

If you are having the same issue then there's lots of things you can do. Have a search through the archive for fast or forceful letdown and this site is excellent too.

moondog Sat 01-Aug-09 07:16:40

Interesting what you say about the night as most people report this to be the mst challenging time as the baby tanks up by feeding and feeding. A lot of people panic then and think [erroneously more often than not] that they don't have enough milk.
7 weks is still pretty early days though.

Have you contacted a breastfeeding counsellor to talk it through. All numbers on this fantastic site which has been put together by a very respected MNer.

nocomplicationspls Sat 01-Aug-09 10:24:31

Thanks for all the comments.
We are going to spend the weekend in bed going back to breastfeeding alone, except maybe expressing last thing tonight after he's gone to bed. When I say in the night milk flows fast I really mean early hours/even 4 am. Expressing between about 7 & 10pm hasn't yielded all that much. As you say though lifedlaundry it will all add up to make a good fed eventually.
ShonaSpurtle thinking about it his feeding from a bottle is so much slower than from me, so maybe it's not that he's not satisfied when he's seeming not to get any more milk, an more that he's recovering from being almost force fed by the breast! Moondog we will try again with feeding lying down too, as I've heard this can slow things down. We tried this in the early day but struggled.
I am so keen not to introduce a top up of formula, I'm sure this would be the beggining of the end.

moondog Sat 01-Aug-09 12:23:35

Yes, there is a strong possibility that it would.
Please also have a look at the site I linked to. It's brilliant.

moondog Sat 01-Aug-09 12:23:37

Yes, there is a strong possibility that it would.
Please also have a look at the site I linked to. It's brilliant.

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